Is Pierce contemplating retirement after season?

The Sports Xchange
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Paul Pierce played his last game in New Jersey on Saturday night, scoring 17 points in the Celtics' 94-82 victory over the Nets. But he says that finale may have nothing to do with the fact the Nets are moving to Brooklyn next season.

Pierce's comments to a Boston Herald reporter arose from a conversation about the team's last trip to the Garden State.

"Well, I figure this might be my last time anyway going to Jersey," Pierce said. "This could be my last year playing."

The remark was followed with a laugh, which made it seem like he may be joking. But he was asked to explain.

"You never know, man," Pierce said. "I don't know. I've got to preserve my body for the rest of my life."

The Celtic captain was then asked again whether he was being serious.

"I don't know," he said. "I've thought about it. I don't know. I've got to see how my summer goes with my kids."

The conversation continued, with it being pointed out to Pierce that he is due $16,790,345 next season and that he has a partial guarantee for the 2013-14.

"Yeah, but I don't play for the money," he said.

"I took a pay cut, didn't I?" he added, laughing.

Pierce made $12.8 million in 2010-11 after taking in $19.7 million the year before.

Given more opportunities to back off what are still speculative comments, Pierce reiterated that the thought has crossed his mind to end his career after 14 seasons. He will turn 35 on Oct. 13.

But maybe his mind was being affected by the fatigue of the compressed season. The Celtics are in the midst of playing three games in three nights, the last of which is Sunday in Charlotte.

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